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How to Get Married in Hawaii

A simple primer for pulling off a wedding in paradise.

Hawaii is a great place for a wedding. Not only does the entire island exude romance and natural beauty, but after the ceremony, you're only a few steps away from the perfect honeymoon.

More than 20,000 marriages are performed each year on the islands, and nearly half of the couples married here are from somewhere else. This booming business has spawned dozens of companies that can help you organize a long-distance event and stage an unforgettable wedding.

The easiest way to plan your wedding is to let someone else handle it at the resort or hotel where you'll be staying. Most resorts and hotels have wedding coordinators who can plan everything from a simple, (relatively) low-cost wedding to an extravaganza that people will talk about for years. Remember that resorts can be pricey -- be frank with your wedding coordinator if you want to keep costs down. You don't have to use a coordinator: You can also plan your own island wedding, even from afar, and not spend a fortune doing it.

No matter the budget, you will need a marriage license. On Oahu, contact the Marriage License Office, Room 101 (1st floor) of the Health Department Building, 1250 Punchbowl St. (tel. 808/586-4545; marriage/index.html). On Maui, contact Marriage License Office, 54 S. High St., (tel. 808/984-8210).

Once in Hawaii, the prospective bride and groom must go together to the marriage-licensing agent to get a license. A license costs $60 and is good for 30 days. The only requirements for a marriage license are that both parties are 15 years of age or older (couples 15-17 years old must have proof of age, written consent of both parents, and the written approval of the judge of the family court) and are not more closely related than first cousins.